Wallingford Christian Assembly

Zambia News - God is our refuge and strength (17/09/2016)

‘God is our refuge and strength…..’ Psalm 46 v 1

Dr Kerrigan and his wife left Chit almost three weeks ago (how time flies!) to return to the US.  They were out on a visit to cover the surgical side of the hospital during Dr McAdam’s absence in Canada and N Ireland.  We have missed them as they were a great help not only in the hospital but also in the mission.  Their departure meant that we had no senior surgical cover for a short period, though the McAdams  returned last weekend and we are now well up to speed.  Shawn and Rhonda Markle and their daughters are also back at Chit after a summer at home in Canada.

David and Lorraine McAdam back at Chit in time for their 30th wedding anniversary

My friend Carol has been to visit several times since I arrived back.  She has finished school and is waiting to hear if she is offered a place to study nursing, hopefully at Kalene Hospital.  On one Saturday afternoon she came to the village with me to visit Eddie and then we listened to some ministry together. Last week she came to the girls’ hostel with me on Friday night when we started our weekly Bible studies, though not quite all the girls were back.  We spent some time on a quiz aimed at revising some basic Bible knowledge and then briefly opened up the subject of the Attributes of God.  I will be continuing this coming Friday.  These are young lives with great potential if this is harnessed for God. Please pray for them that God will speak to their hearts through our studies together.

My job at the moment is to make Eddie a seat.  His current (very) makeshift/home-brewed village seat is all but broken and he has no proper support for his back.  Seat-making was a challenge – to use applied paper technology to produce a robust and usable seat – and I wasn’t sure how it would go.  Corrugated cardboard is readily available from the many boxes of goods that arrive via containers. Newspaper is in less abundant supply, but Ruth Hanna very kindly gave me a large bag of it which had been retrieved from  same packing boxes. The paste is made from flour and water.  I designed and made the frame last week and then took it to the village to test out the size – after all, I didn’t want to waste time an effort on something that didn’t fit.  Eddie was very pleased and is looking forward to the finished product. I have completed two newspaper papier mache layers, and am waiting to find brown paper for the outer layer (this is proving very difficult to access out here). Once it is properly dry, then we can varnish it and it will be ready to use. I will attach it to the frame of his wheelchair with heavy duty Velcro.  I was very pleased to hear via Medical Missionary News that Chunc, a wheelchair company in UK want to donate a number of modular wheelchairs for use in Zambia.  Once of these should be perfect for Eddie in the longer term, so my seat only needs to be temporary. The Lord knows the need and supplies the answer.   It is almost unbelievable that we will have some good quality seats for children and young people like Eddie, seats which are adjustable to the size of the patient and are comfortable to use.

Eddie’s seat in the making – just brown paper and varnish required now.

Wednesday 7 September was Dr Mwansa’s birthday.  JR made special birthday cupcakes for teabreak in the morning and we all sang ‘Happy Birthday’ in the best of traditions. Mwansa’s chosen birthday celebration was anything but traditional, however. She organised a lunch for all the welfare patients who live at the leper colony – elderly folk who have very little of this world’s goods and may not always get enough to eat.  Three local ladies cooked a nshima with relish of chicken and cabbage as a vegetable – it was delicious. The old folks thought so too and enjoyed having left-overs to take home afterwards!  The photos show Dr Mwansa with her birthday cakes and the lunch at colony.  (Grace and Kenneth, the couple on the far right of the photo, are in fellowship in the assembly and enjoy getting to the meetings on Lord’s days as they are able.  Kenneth shows many of the ravages of burnt out leprosy and Grace, who has quite brittle asthma, has to do a lot for him. Fortunately the out-patient clinic line at hospital was not too long and we were able to take a slightly longer lunchbreak to  enjoy the celebration.


Last weekend was dominated by Grace Croudace’s illness – she was brought to Chit by ambulance on Saturday night having suffered a severe stroke.  For anyone who has not seen it, I am including the news clip we wrote over the weekend.

‘Grace Croudace of Zambia suffered a stroke on 10 September in her home in Zambezi and was brought to Chitokoloki Mission Hospital by ambulance.  She was self-ventilating in air, but semi conscious.  However, the prognosis is not good.

Prayer is requested for Grace and her husband, David, who have faithfully served the Lord in Zambia for many years.’

Almost seven days later her condition is essentially unchanged and she requires considerable nursing care both day and night. This is in addition to the regular hospital work of operating theatre, ward rounds and clinics. Then next week there is also the Orthopaedic clinic ‘marathon’ when it is a case of ‘all hands on deck’. Please pray for our missionary nurses who shoulder the burden and also for the rest of us as we seek to support and help them as well as the Croudace family members.  Once again I am reminded of the verses in 2 Corinthians chapter 3.  We may ask, ‘And who is sufficient for these things?’  We can answer with confidence that ‘Our sufficiency is of God’, the One Who will not fail His people and has promised to supply all our need ‘according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4 v 19).